Phil M. Jones is a motivational speaker, leadership and business growth expert.
Phil M. Jones is also the author of Exactly What To Say: The Magic Words For Influence and Impact.
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz gathers four “agreements” to live by to ensure a better lifestyle, a deeper understanding of life, a life in the moment.
The four agreements come from the Toltec teachings of wisdom. The goal of this book is to make each agreement a habit.
An agreement is:
It represents the rules that we abide to, that we pass down from generation to generation.
Unfortunately, we have not chosen the agreements that we live by. Most of the time, they have been chosen for us and have existed longer than we have.
The first agreement is to be “impeccable with your words“. This means that you must be careful of not using words against yourself and others.
Indeed, there is power in the words that you use. Matter of fact, it is the most powerful tool at your disposal.
You can use your words to create beauty or to wreak havoc.
“What you dream, what you feel, and what you really are, will all be manifested through the word”.What you dream, what you feel, and what you really are, will all be manifested through the word. Click To Tweet
Being “impeccable with your words” helps you suppress any toxicity from your mind, free your mind from fear and doubt, and filter out negativity.
Furthermore, words grow and take root in your mind if you are not careful. So:
The second agreement is to not “take anything personally”.
Often times, people are preoccupied with their own beliefs, feelings and opinions about themselves that they take out on others.
Even if they insult you directly, it is wise not to take their insult personally.
This agreement is necessary to avoid burdening yourself with people’s problem, setting “yourself up to suffer for nothing”.
Acquiring this habit will help you free yourself, keep your heart open, see people for who they really are, and be unaffected by fear.
The third agreement consists in not making assumptions.
Undeniably, assumptions are not the truth and breeds problems.
The third agreement will help you build better relationships and increase your communication skills.
To properly implement this agreement:
This fourth agreement encourages you to always “do you best” and consolidates all previous three agreements.
Forming the habit of always doing your best will:
Keep in mind that:
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz provides a very powerful perspective on life. It encourages self-transformation, self-awareness, self acceptance, and the understanding of others.
I found out briefly that The Four Agreements, yet short, is thoughtful and goes straight to the point. It calls out society’s hypocrisy, fear and domestication.
Everyone I know who have read this book has felt elevated. It was therefore hard to resist reading it and I have to say that I did not regret it.
As you read, you will find that you already had the knowledge and the wisdom within you but have been holding it back. You will learn to trust yourself and set yourself free.
The word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and thereby to create the events in your life.
Whatever people do, feel, think, or say, don’t take it personally.
Even the opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true; therefore, you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally.
All the sadness and drama you have lived in your life was rooted in making assumptions and taking things personally.
Action is about living fully. Inaction is the way that we deny life. Inaction is sitting in front of the television every day for years because you are afraid to be alive and to take the risk of expressing what you are.
Santiago, humbly raised in the Spanish countryside, loved to read, wanted to travel, see the world and find his “treasure”.
Instead of being a priest like his parents desired, Santiago became a shepherd in order to wander throughout Andalusia.
The “Young Boy” was obsessed with discovering and accomplishing his Personal Legend.
Everybody has a mission in life, a Personal Legend.
A Personal Legend is what you Always wanted to accomplish ever since you were young.
In your childhood, realizing your Personal Legend seems clear and feasible. However, the older we get, your belief that you can accomplish your Personal Legend seems to get dismantled by a mysterious force.
This mysterious force, made of negativity, deters you but also shows you how to accomplish what you truly want in Life.
Most people are afraid of following their dreams because they are:
According to Paulo Coelho, the Universe conspires to help us in accomplishing our Personal Legend.
It puts people on our way, good and bad, to guide us and redirect our course. The people we meet on our journey to accomplishing our Personal Legend are also part of the Journey.
Indeed, we can learn everywhere we go, with whomever we are and from everything.
For example, Santiago who has met a number of people on his quest of accomplishing his Personal Legend.
It first started out with a dream: one night, he had a wonderful dream about the Egyptian Pyramids. Then, he went to an old Gypsy woman to have his dream interpreted.
After that, he went to a village to change his book to a bigger one. While reading his new book at a well, he meets an old man who claims to be an old king of Salem and who encouraged the boy to accomplish his Personal Legend and to believe in Omens.
On his journey towards the Egyptian Pyramids, the Young boy sold his sheep and arrived in Tangier. There, needing to cross the Sahara, he met a Dangerous guide who would run away with his money.
After being robbed, the boy wandered to the door of a Crystal Merchant, whose unachieved dream was to travel to the Mecca and who against all odds gave him food, a place to stay, a job and who treated him fairly.
While crossing the Sahara desert, he bumped into an Englishman, believer in omens, avid reader, who introduced him to the discipline of Alchemy.
Stranded in an Oasis in the desert, he fell in love with Fatima, the woman of the desert who taught him Love and that Nothing should hold him back from accomplishing his Personal Legend.
Finally, while starting to learn the language of the desert, he bumped into the Alchemist who would teach him the language of the world and show him that lead can be turned into gold.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho explores the themes of following your dreams and achieving self-awareness while doing so.
The Alchemist, through the journey of Santiago the shepherd, helps you identify who and why you are.
This whole book is a metaphor for travel and purpose. Furthermore, each character represents a stage in the life of a person. In addition, I am not used to reviewing fiction but this book was long overdue.
The story of the protagonist Santiago is very relatable, applicable to every stage of our lives, and easily interpreted. Sometimes, we have ups and downs but if we stay focused on our dreams, we really achieve our purpose in the end.
I truly recommend this book for people who have spent their lives not achieving their purpose or who refuse to become bitter. It gives hope and comfort. It lets you know that it is never too late to accomplish your Personal Legend.
The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.
If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
“People learn, early in their lives, what is their reason for being,” said the old man, with a certain bitterness. “Maybe that’s why they give up on it so early, too. But that’s the way it is.”[…]intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life[…] […] before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up.
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Paulo Coelho is an internationally known brazilian author.
Paulo Coelho is the author of the Best Selling novel The Alchemist.